Here is a hearty take on a homemade pasta sauce. Roasting the eggplant brings out the flavor and then its pureed into a thick and luscious sauce. For your picky eaters – don’t tell them its roasted
eggplant until after they rave about it! Consider using whole wheat pasta- just cook it a little longer to make it more tender.

Pasta with Eggplant Puree
Makes approximately 6 servings
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups fresh tomatoes, preferably cherry but any will do
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 pound dried rigatoni, penne or other shaped pasta
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, combine the eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Spread the vegetables out evenly on the baking sheet. Roast in the oven until the vegetables are tender and the eggplant is golden, about 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta but reserve a cup of the cooking water.
Transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor or blender. Add the basil leaves and additional 3 tablespoons olive oil. Blend until almost smooth. Return the pasta to the cooking pot, pour sauce over it and a splash (about 1/3 cup) of cooking water and cook together, tossing so that the pasta is evenly coated, over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add more pasta cooking water, one ladleful at a time, as needed, to loosen the sauce. Transfer pasta and sauce to a serving bowl, and garnish with extra herbs, parmesan and serve.

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